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Is It Who You Are or Where You Live? Residential Segregation and Racial Gaps in Childhood Asthma

Listed author(s):
  • Diane Alexander
  • Janet Currie

Higher asthma rates are one of the more obvious ways that health inequalities between African American and other children are manifested beginning in early childhood. In 2010, black asthma rates were double non-black rates. Some but not all of this difference can be explained by factors such as a higher incidence of low birth weight (LBW) among blacks; however, even conditional on LBW, blacks have a higher incidence of asthma than others. Using a unique data set based on the health records of all children born in New Jersey between 2006 and 2010, we show that when we split the data by whether or not children live in a “black” zip code, this racial difference in the incidence of asthma among LBW children entirely disappears. All LBW children in these zip codes, regardless of race, have a higher incidence of asthma. Our results point to the importance of residential segregation and neighborhoods in explaining persistent racial health disparities.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23622.

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Date of creation: Jul 2017
Publication status: published as Diane Alexander & Janet Currie, 2017. "Is it who you are or where you live? Residential segregation and racial gaps in childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, .
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23622
Note: CH HC HE
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  1. Janet Currie & Joshua Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 791-810, August.
  2. Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt, 2016. "Mortality Inequality: The Good News from a County-Level Approach," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 29-52, Spring.
  3. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
  5. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
  6. Jane G. Fortson & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2010. "Child Health and Neighborhood Conditions: Results from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 840-864.
  7. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Simon Condliffe & Charles R. Link, 2008. "The Relationship between Economic Status and Child Health: Evidence from the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1605-1618, September.
  9. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  10. repec:mpr:mprres:7081 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Curtis, Lori J. & Dooley, Martin D. & Phipps, Shelley A., 2004. "Child well-being and neighbourhood quality: evidence from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(10), pages 1917-1927, May.
  12. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
  13. repec:hrv:faseco:30367426 is not listed on IDEAS
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